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6 Common Winter Roofing Issues

Winter weather is brutal on your roof. The snow and ice and the freezing and thawing can create several problems that may lead to costly roofing repairs if not adequately addressed.

Here are six common problems your roof may face over the winter season.

Condensation Build-Up

When warm air meets a cold surface, condensation will occur. Unfortunately, an improperly insulated attic is a prime candidate for the formation of condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew, damaging the interior structure of your home. To prevent condensation, ensure your attic is adequately ventilated. Inadequate ventilation can damage your roof and the decking, including ourage ice dams, and shorten your roof’s lifespan by half.

Flashing Leaks

Flashings are crucial to watch if you have a sloped roof. Flashings are metal strips installed along the front edge, corners, and ridges of your roof, as well as around your chimney and skylights. If they are not installed correctly, or there is a violent storm, they may start pulling away from your roofing material, which can cause water leaks. Inspecting your flashings every six months to nip this problem in the bud is a good idea.

Strong Winds

Wind storms are not uncommon in our region, but they happen, and we have had one this year. When wind speeds pick up enough, they can start to loosen up shake and asphalt shingles. If you notice shingles or other parts of your roof on the ground, contact us as soon as possible to have those shingles replaced before more damage occurs.

Tree Limbs

“I love having so many trees in my yard because they provide beautiful scenery all year round. However, I have to be careful about the potential dangers that come with them. The overhanging tree limbs sometimes scrape my roof and damage its protective top layer. Additionally, falling branches can cause even more problems. To keep my family and home safe, I make sure to trim any branches that come within six feet of my roof. It is also a good way to prevent critters from scampering onto my roof and trying to nest in the Spring.”

Ice Dams

Ice dams are uncommon in the Willamette Valley, but they have been known to occur every 15 to 30 years or so. They result when the upper areas of an icy roof begin to thaw, and the lower perimeter areas are still frozen. Melting ice and snow from the warmer sections of the roof flows down and re-freezes on the lower sections and gutters, creating an ice dam. As water pools behind the dam, it will likely leak into your home through cracks and joints in the roofing material, causing damage.

There is no way to eliminate the possibility of ice dams. However, they can be minimized with proper insulation and a sound attic ventilation system. Some modified rubber underlayments like Ice and Watershield are also recommended for areas with this scenario.


Icicles are also typically formed by sunny days and sub-freezing temperatures. They may look neat, but they can pose a real danger to people and pets. Due to clogged gutters and downspouts, their excessive weight can cause roofing and gutter damage. Keep your gutters clear of leaves, needles, and other debris to discourage icicles from forming. When the warmer weather arrives, attend to gutter maintenance swiftly to avoid leaking and other problems during spring rains.

How is your roof handling the winter weather? Contact the professionals at Lone-Star Roof Systems today. Our dedicated team of roofing experts will be happy to talk you through your roof’s potential problems and suggest the appropriate preventative repairs.

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